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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 18, 2016

Research reveals just how much mobile data ads consume

The amount of mobile data being used points to yet another reason why users are turning to mobile ad blockers. New research from Enders Analysis shows that ads could account for about half of data used by people reading articles on their smartphones.

by Helen Leggatt

Researchers at Enders Analysis looked at eight websites from "popular publishers" and accessed them from a browser that replicated an iPhone 6. They then compared the data use of fully loaded pages without an ad blocker, with an ad blocker and with an ad blocker and JavaScript enabled.

They found that anywhere from between 18% and 79% of the data downloaded was from advertising and, in addition, between 6% and 68% was from JavaScript which is used to deliver the interactive elements of both advertising and editorial.

In relation to their findings, Enders reports that "On the basis of this investigation, an estimate that says advertising accounts for half of all data used by publisher pages on iPhones does not look unreasonable. Publisher mobile pages are bloated, and advertising is an enormous part of that".

As more and more web traffic comes from mobile devices, content developers and providers need to take the data useage issue into account.

"The move from desktop to mobile, from banner to native and from web to apps provides advertisers and publishers with the opportunity to provide an acceptable advertising experience, ensuring that blocking of these new formats and properties never reaches the threatening levels currently on desktop," says Enders.

Earlier this year, mobile network Three became first major European operator to introduce ad blocking on two of its country networks. Following a deal struck with Israeli firm Shine, ad blocking technology will be implemented across Three's UK and Italian networks.

Three cited three main reasons for introducing ad blocking. Firstly, their customer already pay data charges and should not have to receive ads, costs which the company says advertisers should be made to pay. Secondly, some advertising elicits customer data and information with them knowing. Finally, customers should not have to suffer having their mobile experience "degraded by excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant ads" which, says Three UK chief marketing officer Tom Malleschitz, "annoy customers and affect their overall network experience".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ad blocking, advertising, data, mobile

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